Opposition to the ongoing protests by truckers has grown since late last week. These are the findings from INNOVATIVE’s Canada This Month survey, in field from January 29th to February 1st, 2022, with a sample size of 1,167 Canadians, including over 500 Canadians before and another 500 after the weekend. A detailed methodology is provided in the report.
Attention to the protests remains very high. Late last week 63% of Canadians said they were following the news at least somewhat closely include 28% who were following the news very closely. That has increased to 67% following news at least somewhat closely and 29% following it very closely.
Support for the idea of the protest is stable, but the level of opposition to the protests has increased. Now 53% oppose the protests while only 32% now support them. Similarly, approval of the tactics the protestors are using has remained steady but disapproved has increased even more than opposition has, from 44% last week to 55% now.
This increase in opposition in concentrated among Canadians who are open to opposing COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. INNOVATIVE uses a combination of five different questions on the existing restrictions in Canada to create an index of COVID-19 restriction support. We find that those who are conflicted or softly opposed to restrictions saw the biggest increase in opposition to the idea of the protest and the tactics employed.
After the weekend, protestors are losing ground with the swing groups – those who can go either way on the issue. While support for an exemption for truckers crossing the border has remained stable, support for the protestors advocating for it has dropped off.
However, while opposition to the protest itself is growing, there is virtually no change on policy preferences. A slim majority of 53% continue to support a requirement for all truckers to be vaccinated while 36% want to re-instate an exemption for truckers, down just one point from when the protest began,